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  • Climate Change
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
  • global development

A talk from Veerabhadran Ramanathan, adjunct professor of global development, with an introduction from Ben Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS

Time and date: Tuesday, September 20 from 4:30-5:30 pm EDT

Location: Warren 151 and Zoom

Co-sponsored by the Department of Global Development and The 2030 Project: A Cornell Climate Initiative


It is too late to rely just on climate change mitigation. We have to pivot to Climate Resilience, which has three pillars:

  • Mitigation
  • Adaptation
  • Transformation

The word Transformation signifies the fact that it is too late for incremental approaches. We have to transform society and ecosystem. In addition, we have to think of think of Climate Solutions in the broader context of a trifecta of intersecting crises: Biodiversity; Climate Change and Inequality. There is a huge role for science (i.e, academic instiutions) to play, beyond publishing our studies and hoping someone important is reading our papers. We have to get involved with implementing the solutions that come out of our research. This involves not only interdisciplinary research but also transdisciplinary research, where we bring in academics, policy makers, NGOs and community leaders including faith leaders to form an alliance to help with implementation. The new IRA plan by the US has opened the doors for such transformative ways of addressing the climate crises. The required changes in academic institutions have to come both from the top (Presidents, VCs, Deans and Dept Chairs) and from the bottom (faculty, students and staff). 

About the speaker

V. Ram Ramanathan is emeritus professor at the University of California at San Diego and Cornell Climate Solutions Scholar at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. He discovered the greenhouse effect of chlorofulorocarbons and other heat trapping pollutant gases. His findings on super pollutants (Methane, HFCs, Ozone and black carbon) have led to several successful climate mitigation actions worldwide, including the formation of Climate and Clean Air Coalition by the United Nations to mitigate these pollutants. He was the founding chair of University of California's Bending the Curve: Climate solutions education protocol, taught at many campuses around the world.

He served as the science advisor for Pope Francis' Holy See delegation to the UN's 2015 Paris climate summit. He was listed as Foreign Policy Magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2014, named 2013 Champion of Earth by the United Nations and was awarded the 2021 Blue Planet Prize.  He is elected to  the US National Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Science (council member), The American Philosophical Society and the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

Date & Time

September 22, 2022
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Ram Ramanathan

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Jenna LaMendola

  • jl3649 [at]


Department of Global Development

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